A New Hampshire man will spend decades in prison, and potentially the rest of his life there, for committing a shocking number of child sexual abuse offenses, a judge ruled earlier this week.
Jason Lewis, 40, was sentenced to 32 years to life in prison on Thursday after pleading guilty to dozens of offenses related to the sexual abuse of a child and the creation of child pornography.
He initially faced over 100 child sexual abuse-related counts.
“I’m not sure I’ve seen a case quite like this where these sort of actions were done in a way that evaded the trust of the family and affected so many people,” the judge overseeing the case said in comments reported by Manchester-based ABC affiliate WMUR.
The investigation into the defendant started in June 2021. He was first charged and taken into custody that same month.
The Weare Police Department initially arrested Lewis on 18 charges, including incest, aggravated felonious sexual assault, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, kidnapping/extortion, criminal restraint, pattern sexual assault, and endangering the welfare of a child.
Over an objection from prosecutors, Lewis was released on personal recognizance bail. He was arrested again in January.
After what law enforcement in the Granite State termed “a complex investigation,” the defendant’s new list of charges ballooned to 105 in total, according to a statement reported by The Telegraph.
The new charges included three dozen counts of possession of child pornography and over two counts of manufacture of child abuse images. He was also charged with additional counts of felonious sexual assault, aggravated felonious sexual assault, and incest.
The secondary investigation involved the WPD, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the Goffstown Police Department, the Child Advocacy Center, the Division of Children, Youth and Families, the Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office, and the New England State Police Information Network.
Lewis knew the victim before the abuse, prosecutors noted during his sentencing hearing, which made the crimes particularly painful for the family, WMUR reported. A victim’s advocate read from an impact statement prepared by the child’s family on Thursday.
“It’s been almost two years since my family’s world collapsed around us since I found out my child was the victim of unimaginable abuse,” the advocate said. “I still cannot wrap my head around what happened. I’m not sure I will ever be able to understand what kind of person does something like this to a child.”
The TV station reported that one family member addressed the defendant directly and asked for the harshest possible sentence.
“May justice be served on you, not just in the courts, but also may your conscience make you regret for the rest of your life what you have done,” the child’s family member reportedly said.
After the sentencing hearing, prosecutors said the case details were “particularly disturbing,” WMUR reported.
“I think the sentence was a little light,” Hillsborough County Assistant Attorney Steven Gahan added. “However, justice comes in different forms. In this instance, not having the victim or the family having to endure multiple trials makes this sentence reasonable in light of the circumstances.”
The defendant was immediately handcuffed and taken the state prison after the judge issued the sentence.
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Jason Lewis sentenced on dozens of child sexual abuse crimes
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